2011 Judges

James KaoJames Kao

James Kao is a Chicago-based artist who makes paintings and drawings.In 2010 he was the pioneer painter Artist in Residence at the Marina Abramovic Institute-West (re-named Performance Art Institute) in San Francisco, and in the summer of 2011, he was named the first White Mountain National Forest Artist in Residence.He has given visiting artist lectures at several schools and art institutions including Knox College, Whittier College, Northern Illinois University, and the Museum of the Art Institute of Chicago.In recent years, he has mounted one person exhibitions at Toomey Tourell Fine Art, San Francisco, CA; China Projects, San Francisco, CA; Lloyd Dobler Gallery, Chicago, IL; Patricia Ladd Carega Gallery, Sandwich, NH.James Kao holds a B.A. in Philosophy from the University of Chicago and B.F.A. and M.F.A. degrees from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.  He has been a faculty member in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago’s Painting and Drawing Department since 2007.

Jerry PalenJerry Palen

Jerry Palen says he likes what he does, and it shows. His Stampede cartoon series featuring the lovable ranching couple, Flo and Elmo, is the largest weekly syndicated cartoon feature in the agricultural sector of both this country and Canada. The humorous antics of Flo and Elmo reach over two million readers every week.

Every President since Jimmy Carter has used his bronze sculptures for presentations and official gifts. Jerry has done several monumental bronzes around the state, and the latest one is a seven-foot monument of the Wyoming artist Bill Gollings. This bronze is in front of the Wyoming Arts Council building across the street from the Capitol in Cheyenne. A graduate of the University of Wyoming with a degree in political science and economics, Palen was honored as a distinguished alumnus in 1998.